There are some Ghanaian-invented games that a lot of people who were born in the ’90s and early 2000s enjoyed playing in their communities while growing up.
Most of the games we played, to some extent, made our childhood complete.
Unfortunately, were barely see most of these games been played by kids in recent years.
Here are ten Ghanaian childhood games that are barely played these days:
The game is played with a spinning top called an “Alikoto.” The “alikoto” is made by fixing battery caps onto a pen top. It requires players to spin the “Alikoto” and try to turn the spinning “alikoto” flat on its head by hitting its bottom with the side of their palm. Whoever fails to turn the “alikoto” on hits head will be hit with it on the hand by the other player(s) who successfully did it.
This is a very interesting game. It involves an object like a stick (which is mostly used) and the number of sticks to use is dependent on the number of players. A non-participant hides the sticks while the participants have their eyes closed or not in the same location. When the non-participant shouts out “pi-lo-lo”, the participants then run from their hideout to search for the item. A finish point is indicated where the players must send the stick to be a winner. One needs to be smart, observant and skilful to detect where the item has been hidden. The first person that sees it secretly runs to the finish point before alerting the others after a hard time trying. It is then recorded as they reach the finish point.
A heap of sand and a pointed object is required to play this game. The aim is for players to get the pointed object to stick into the sand from various positions. A player who fails to get the pointed object to stick into the sand will be hit on the hand with the object by the other players who successfully did.
Before PES and EA Sports’ FIFA game became popular this was what we played. This game requires bottle tops (used as footballers), a tiny round object (used as the ball) and goal posts made from pieces of paper.
This is a very cruel but interesting game. Players are required to say the word, “Zanzama” before sitting down. If Player A sits without saying “zanzama”, Player B is entitled to give Player A a knock on the head for not saying the word.
This was an exciting game that involved the use of sticks that look like guns to shoot opponents. Players are given time to hide at a place where they can’t be caught. It’s based on being smart and making sure you are not caught and shot by your opponents.
Rubber Tie Throwing
Rubber bands were a prized possession for a lot of kids. The more rubber bands you owned showed that you are a master of the game. The game requires players to throw rubber bands on the floor from a distance. For instance, when Player A throws the rubber band and it falls on any of the ones previously thrown by other players, Player A wins and collects all the other bands on which his/her’s fell.
This game is played by spotting number plates with repeated numbers. When a player spots a number plate with a repeated number he announces the number with the word, “Kalo”. For instance, if a player sees a number plate with the number “3311-11” he/she can announce “3,3 “kalo”. The first person to announce the repeated number then gets the opportunity to hit the other player(s) that number of times.
This game is regarded as “Ghana’s cricket”. It involves a flattened can (mostly milk cans), sticks used as bats and a rimless car tyre. The aim of the game is for a player to successfully toss the flattened can into the hole in the tyre, while the players with the sticks have to prevent that from happening.
This game is regarded as the Ghanaian version of hopscotch. It requires players to jump a lot. Basically, you need to put your opponent in a position that forces them to make and hopefully fail at near-impossible jumps by, more or less, buying spaces on a drawn-out grid.
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